Media Release: Free State Community Survey 2016 results


Free State Community Survey 2016 results

The total population recorded for Free State in 2016 was 2,8 million, an increase from the population of 2,7 million in 2011, making it the second smallest province in the country in terms of population size, after the Northern Cape.  58,3% of the population in the province are male and 41,7% are female. The number of households increased from 823 316 in 2011 to 946 639 in 2016. Average household size in the province decreased from 3,3 in 2011 to 3,0 in 2016.  Mangaung (255 938) and Thabo Mofutsanyane (246 171) have the highest number of households.


The majority of the population (2,6 million) currently residing in the Free State were born in  the province. About 65 000 Free State residents were born in Gauteng, just over 50 000 from the Eastern Cape and 53 665 were born outside of South Africa.  Those that were born in Limpopo mostly migrated to Gauteng and Mpumalanga.



Over four-fifths (83,6%) of the population reside in formal dwellings and 12,8% in informal dwellings. The Free State recorded the highest proportion (30,6%) of households who reported that their main dwelling was a RDP/government subsidised dwelling as compared to other provinces. Over three-fifths (61,4%) of the households in the Free State reported that their dwellings were owned and fully paid off.


Access to basic services

37,8% of households in the Free State had access to piped  water inside the dwelling. A further 33,5% had access to piped water inside the yard and 23,7% had access to piped water from an access point outside the yard.  84,5% of households in the province reported that they had access to safe drinking water. The province recorded the highest percentage of households that had access to electricity for cooking – 90,8%, an increase from 84,5% recorded in 2011.


Poverty headcount and hunger

The poverty headcount in Free State remains unchanged, 5,5% in 2011 and 2016. 220 863 of households in the Free State reported that they had ran out of money in the last 12 months before the survey was conducted. 15,7 % of  households in the Free State missed a meal over the same period.




Note to the editors:

The Community Survey is a large-scale household sample survey conducted to bridge the information gap between two censuses. It is one of the few available data sources that provide statistics at municipal level, and it is aimed at enhancing planning, monitoring and evaluation at this level of government. The survey provides data on, among others, population, health, migration, education and access to basic services. The 2016 survey was conducted between March and April 2016 and collected data from 1,3 million households across all South African communities.


Issued by Statistics South Africa


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